I began my Sunday morning long run with cold fingers, sore quads, and a lack of conviction in my heart. In truth, it took some serious convincing for me to leave my wife and kids, nestled together on the couch in their pajamas watching TV by the warmth of the wood stove. I bent my knee and pulled my foot back behind me, grasping the basketball goal post lest I fall into the frost covered leaves.

I waited in purgatory for my watch to sync. A cold westerly wind was blowing in from the Atlantic making the already chilly 33º F feel much colder. I debated putting on another layer and switching my thin gloves for a pair of wool mittens.

I ran the first few miles on legs that had forgotten how to run. My fingers ached from the cold and my eyes welled up. I saw another runner ahead. I picked up the pace to see if I could make contact, if for no other reason than to let them know I was out there too.

They turned left and disappeared at the intersection where I turned right. But, good news. My fingers no longer hurt and my legs had warmed up. I was in a nice groove by the time I reached 4 miles. The first beads of perspiration rolled down and tickled my ears. Ahead of me, the Atlantic ocean sparkled under the early morning sun.

Much like the Bermuda Triangle, the runner's high is an elusive place that can't be found… Click To Tweet

Somewhere along the coastline I forgot I was running. My mind muted the clamor of signals from my muscles and joints and wandered to other, more interesting places. The experience is not unlike being pleasantly drunk and realizing you’ve suffered a 30-second memory lapse.

Much like the Bermuda Triangle, the runner’s high is an elusive place that can’t be found intentionally. Sometimes it doesn’t appear at all. But when it does, I relish it. My most creative and inspiring ideas occur when I reach this point in a run. I see meaning in the most insignificant details.

Minutes later, the spell breaks and my thoughts come back to the present. How much distance had I covered? A mile or two perhaps? Once again, I could feel the fatigue in my legs as I started climbing the hills back home.

Every run has the potential to be a great experience. There’s no way to know unless you begin. The most difficult part is getting yourself out the door.

2 thoughts on “Searching for the Runner’s High

  1. this is just what i needed to read today. i’m going out later this afternoon for my long run, and am completely unmotivated and 99% of it has to do with this weather! i hope at some point along the charles i will catch a runners high, even if it’s just for a few fleeting seconds!

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